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Sunil Kukreja, Sudheer Ambekar, Mayur Sharma and Anil Nanda

The authors report the case of a spinal intradural schwannoma presenting with intracranial subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Cerebral angiography did not show any intracranial lesion; however, MRI revealed two separate tumors in the lower segment of the spinal cord. The proximal lesion arising from the conus medullaris was well circumscribed and homogeneously enhanced, whereas the tumor in the cauda equina revealed hemorrhagic signals on MRI. This case also illustrates an unusual presentation of intracranial SAH simultaneously with intratumoral hemorrhage in a spinal cord schwannoma. The absence of hemorrhagic changes in the lesion arising proximal to the cauda equina region supports the mechanical theory proposed for the pathogenesis of hemorrhagic complications in spinal cord tumors.

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Anil Nanda, Sudheer Ambekar, Vijayakumar Javalkar and Mayur Sharma

Object

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas (TSMs) and diaphragma sellae meningiomas (DSMs) are challenging lesions to treat due to their proximity to neurovascular structures.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent surgical excision of TSMs and DSMs from 1990 to 2013. They also describe the technical strategies used to minimize injury to the optic apparatus, vascular structures, and pituitary stalk.

Results

Twenty-four patients with TSM and 6 patients with DSM were included in the study. Seventy percent of the tumors were large (≥ 5 cm). The pterional approach was employed in most cases. Optic canal involvement was observed in 4 patients. Twenty-one patients (70%) had visual dysfunction before surgery. At follow-up (median 18 months), visual improvement was noted in 10 (47.6%) of 21 patients. Gross-total excision was achieved in 22 patients (91.6%) with TSM and 5 (83.3%) with DSM. At last follow-up, 28 patients (93.3%) had a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 5. There were no deaths in this series.

Conclusions

Tuberculum and diaphragma sellae meningiomas present a unique subset of tumors due to their location. They can be safely excised with minimal morbidity and mortality using microsurgical techniques. Attention to technical details during surgery leads to greater respectability and superior visual outcome.

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Mayur Sharma, Sudheer Ambekar, Bharat Guthikonda, Jessica Wilden and Anil Nanda

Object

The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence of adverse outcomes, complications, inpatient mortality, length of hospital stay, and the factors affecting them between academic and nonacademic centers after deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for Parkinson's disease (PD). The authors also analyzed the impact of various factors on the total hospitalization charges after this procedure.

Methods

This is a retrospective cohort study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2006 to 2010. Various patient and hospital variables were analyzed from the database. The adverse discharge disposition and the higher cost of hospitalization were taken as the dependent variables.

Results

A total of 2244 patients who underwent surgical treatment for PD were identified from the database. The mean age was 64.22 ± 9.8 years and 68.7% (n = 1523) of the patients were male. The majority of the patients was discharged to home or self-care (87.9%, n = 1972). The majority of the procedures was performed at high-volume centers (64.8%, n = 1453), at academic institutions (85.33%, n = 1915), in urban areas (n = 2158, 96.16%), and at hospitals with a large bedsize (86.6%, n = 1907) in the West or South. Adverse discharge disposition was more likely in elderly patients (OR > 1, p = 0.011) with high comorbidity index (OR 1.508 [95% CI 1.148–1.98], p = 0.004) and those with complications (OR 3.155 [95% CI 1.202–8.279], p = 0.033). A hospital with a larger annual caseload was an independent predictor of adverse discharge disposition (OR 3.543 [95% CI 1.781–7.048], p < 0.001), whereas patients treated by physicians with high case volumes had significantly better outcomes (p = 0.006). The median total cost of hospitalization had increased by 6% from 2006 through 2010. Hospitals with a smaller case volume (OR 0.093, p < 0.001), private hospitals (OR 11.027, p < 0.001), nonteaching hospitals (OR 3.139, p = 0.003), and hospitals in the West compared with hospitals in Northeast and the Midwest (OR 1.885 [p = 0.033] and OR 2.897 [p = 0.031], respectively) were independent predictors of higher hospital cost. The mean length of hospital stay decreased from 2.03 days in 2006 to 1.55 days in 2010. There was no difference in the discharge disposition among academic versus nonacademic centers and rural versus urban hospitals (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

Elderly female patients with nonprivate insurance and high comorbidity index who underwent surgery at low-volume centers performed by a surgeon with a low annual case volume and the occurrence of postoperative complications were correlated with an adverse discharge disposition. High-volume, government-owned academic centers in the Northeast were associated with a lower cost incurred to the hospitals. It can be recommended that the widespread availability of this procedure across small, academic centers in rural areas may not only provide easier access to the patients but also reduces the total cost of hospitalization.

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Mayur Sharma, Ashish Sonig, Sudheer Ambekar and Anil Nanda

Object

The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence of adverse outcomes and inpatient mortality following resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumors by using the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. The overall complication rate, length of the hospital stay, and the total cost of hospitalization were also analyzed from the database.

Methods

This is a retrospective cohort study conducted using the NIS data from 2003 to 2010. Various patient-related (demographic categories, complications, comorbidities, and median household income) and hospital-related variables (number of beds, high/low case volume, rural/urban location, region, ownership, and teaching status) were analyzed from the database. The adverse discharge disposition, in-hospital mortality, and the higher cost of hospitalization were taken as the dependent variables.

Results

A total of 15,545 admissions were identified from the NIS database. The mean patient age was 44.84 ± 19.49 years (mean ± SD), and 7938 (52%) of the patients were male. Regarding discharge disposition, 64.1% (n = 9917) of the patients were discharged to home or self-care, and the overall in-hospital mortality rate was 0.46% (n = 71). The mean total charges for hospitalization increased from $45,452.24 in 2003 to $76,698.96 in 2010. Elderly patients, female sex, black race, and lower income based on ZIP code were the independent predictors of other than routine (OTR) disposition (p < 0.001). Private insurance showed a protective effect against OTR disposition. Patients with a higher comorbidity index (OR 1.908, 95% CI 1.733–2.101; p < 0.001) and with complications (OR 2.214, 95% CI 1.768–2.772; p < 0.001) were more likely to have an adverse discharge disposition. Hospitals with a larger number of beds and those in the Northeast region were independent predictors of the OTR discharge disposition (p < 0.001). Admissions on weekends and nonelective admission had significant influence on the disposition (p < 0.001). Weekend and nonelective admissions were found to be independent predictors of inpatient mortality and the higher cost incurred to the hospitals (p < 0.001). High-volume and large hospitals, West region, and teaching hospitals were also the predictors of higher cost incurred to the hospitals (p < 0.001). The following variables (young patients, higher median household income, nonprivate insurance, presence of complications, and a higher comorbidity index) were significantly correlated with higher hospital charges (p < 0.001), whereas the variables young patients, nonprivate insurance, higher median household income, and higher comorbidity index independently predicted for inpatient mortality (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The independent predictors of adverse discharge disposition were as follows: elderly patients, female sex, black race, lower median household income, nonprivate insurance, higher comorbidity index, presence of complications, larger hospital size, Northeast region, and weekend and nonelective admissions. The predictors of higher cost incurred to the hospitals were as follows: young patients, higher median household income, nonprivate insurance, presence of complications, higher comorbidity index, hospitals with high volume and a large number of beds, West region, teaching hospitals, and weekend and nonelective admissions.

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Mayur Sharma, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Zaid Aljuboori and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

Opioid abuse is highly prevalent in patients with back pain. The aim of this study was to identify health care utilization and overall costs associated with opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS).

METHODS

The authors queried the MarketScan database using ICD-9 and CPT-4 codes from 2000 to 2012. Opioid dependency was defined as having a diagnosis of opioid use disorder, having a prescription for opioid use disorder, or having 10 or more opioid prescriptions. Opioid dependency was evaluated in 12-month period leading to surgery and in the period 3–15 months following the procedure. Patients were segregated into 4 groups based on opioid dependence before and after surgery: group NDND (prior nondependent who remain nondependent), group NDD (prior nondependent who become dependent), group DND (prior dependent who become nondependent), and group DD (prior dependent who remain dependent). The outcomes of interest were discharge disposition, hospital length of stay (LOS), complications, and health care resource costs. The 4 groups were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test and linear contrasts built from generalized regression models.

RESULTS

A total of 10,708 patients were identified, with 81.57%, 3.58%, 8.54%, and 6.32% of patients in groups NDND, NDD, DND, and DD, respectively. In group DD, 96.31% of patients had decompression with fusion, compared with 93.59% in group NDND. Patients in group NDD, DND, and DD had longer hospital LOS compared with those in group NDND. Patients in group DD were less likely to be discharged home compared with those in group NDND (odds ratio 0.639, 95% confidence interval 0.52–0.785). At 3–15 months postdischarge, patients in group DD incurred 21% higher hospital readmission costs compared with those in group NDND. However, patients in groups NDD and DD were likely to incur 2.8 times the overall costs compared with patients in group NDND (p < 0.001) at 3–15 months after surgery (median overall payments: group NDD $20,033 and group DD $19,654, vs group NDND $7994).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients who continued to be opioid dependent or became opioid dependent following surgery for DS incurred significantly higher health care utilization and costs within 3 months and in the period 3–15 months after discharge from surgery.

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Mayur Sharma, Ghaith Habboub, Mandana Behbahani, Danilo Silva, Gene H. Barnett and Alireza M. Mohammadi

OBJECTIVE

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) has been increasingly used to treat deep-seated tumors. Despite its being minimally invasive, there is a risk of LITT damaging adjacent critical structures, including corticospinal tracts (CSTs). In this study, the authors investigated the predictive value of overlap between the hyperthermic field and CSTs in determining postoperative motor deficit (PMDs).

METHODS

More than 140 patients underwent an LITT procedure in our institution between April 2011 and June 2015. Because of the tumor's proximity to critical structures, 80 of them underwent preoperative diffusion tensor imaging and were included in this study. Extent of the hyperthermic field was delineated by the software as thermal-damage-threshold (TDT) lines (yellow [43°C for 2 minutes], blue [43°C for 10 minutes], and white [43°C for 60 minutes]). The maximum volume and the surface area of overlaps between motor fibers and the TDT lines were calculated and compared with the PMDs.

RESULTS

High-grade glioma (n = 46) was the most common indication for LITT. Postoperative motor deficits (partial or complete) were seen in 14 patients (11 with permanent and 3 with temporary PMDs). The median overlap volumes between CSTs with yellow, blue, and white TDT lines in patients with any PMD (temporary or permanent) were 1.15, 0.68, and 0.41 cm3, respectively. The overlap volumes and surface areas revealed significant differences in those with PMDs and those with no deficits (p = 0.0019 and 0.003, 0.012 and 0.0012, and 0.001 and 0.005 for the yellow, blue, and white TDT lines, respectively). The receiver operating characteristic was used to select the optimal cutoff point of the overlapped volumes and areas. Cutoff points for overlap volumes and areas based on optimal sensitivity (92%–100%) and specificity (80%–90%) were 0.103, 0.068, and 0.046 cm3 and 0.15, 0.07, and 0.11 mm2 for the yellow, blue, and white TDT lines, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Even a minimal overlap between the TDT lines and CSTs can cause a PMD after LITT. Precise planning and avoidance of critical structures and important white matter fibers should be considered when treating deep-seated tumors.

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Mayur Sharma, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Zaid Aljuboori, Miriam A. Nuño, Doniel Drazin and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

The opioid crisis is identified as a national emergency and epidemic in the United States. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS).

METHODS

The authors queried MarketScan databases to investigate the factors affecting postsurgery opioid use in patients with DS between 2000 and 2012. The outcome of interest was opioid dependence, which was defined as continued opioid use, > 10 opioid prescriptions, or diagnosis of or prescription for opioid dependence disorder in the period of 1 year before or 3–15 months after the procedure. Comparisons of outcomes were performed using nonparametric 2-group tests and generalized regression models.

RESULTS

A cohort of 10,708 patients was identified from the database. The median patient age was 61 years (interquartile range 54–69 years), and 65.1% were female (n = 6975). A majority of patients had decompression with fusion (n = 10,068; 94%) and underwent multilevel procedures (n = 8123; 75.9%). Of 10,708 patients, 14.85% (n = 1591) were identified as having opioid dependence within 12 months prior to the index surgical procedure and 9.90% (n = 1060) were identified as having opioid dependence within 3–15 months after the procedure. Of all the variables, prior opioid dependence (OR 16.29, 95% CI 14.10–18.81, p < 0.001) and younger age (1-year increase in age: OR 0.972, 95% CI 0.963–0.980, p < 0.001) were independent predictors of opioid dependence following surgery for DS. The use of fusion was not associated with opioid dependence following the procedure (p = 0.8396). Following surgery for DS, patients were more likely to become opioid independent than they were to become opioid dependent (8.54% vs 3.58%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of patients underwent fusion for DS. Surgical decompression with fusion was not associated with increased risk of postsurgery opioid dependence in patients with DS. Overall, opioid dependence was reduced by 4.96% after surgery for DS. Prior opioid dependence is associated with increased risk and increasing age is associated with decreased risk of opioid dependence following surgery for DS.

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Mayur Sharma, Pooja SirDeshpande, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Nicholas Dietz and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic perineural or Tarlov cysts (TCs) are a rare cause of chronic low-back pain. Given the rarity of the disease, there is no literature consensus regarding the optimal management of these cysts.

METHODS

The authors conducted a systematic comparative outcome analysis of symptomatic TCs treated with surgery (group A, 32 studies, n = 333) or percutaneous interventions (group B, 6 studies, n = 417) analyzing the demographic characteristics, baseline characteristics of the cysts, clinical presentations, types of interventions, complication rates, and the recurrence rate in both treatment groups. The literature search was performed using the PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Ovid databases up to 2018. The MeSH search terms used were “Tarlov cyst,” “sacral perineural cyst,” “sacral nerve root cyst,” “meningeal cyst of the sacral spine,” “extra meningeal cyst with spinal nerve root fibers,” “spinal extradural arachnoid pouch,” and “cyst of the sacral nerve root sheath.” The authors used statistical tests for two proportions using the “N-1” chi-square test with the free version of MedCalc for Windows for comparison among the groups.

RESULTS

Overall symptomatic improvement was reported in 83.5% of patients in both groups; however, exacerbation of preprocedural symptoms was significantly higher in group B than group A (10.1% vs 3.3%, p = 0.0003). The overall complication rates in the surgical and nonsurgical groups were 21% and 12.47%, respectively. Transient sciatica was the most common complication in both groups (17% vs 8%, respectively; p = 0.017). The incidence of cyst recurrence was much lower in group A than group B (8% vs 20%, p = 0.0018). The mean follow-up duration for the surgical group was 38 ± 29 months (25 studies, n = 279), while that for the nonsurgical group was 15 ± 12 months (4 studies, n = 290) (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors noted that although the surgical interventions were associated with higher postprocedural complication rates, long-term efficacy and success in terms of cyst resolution were superior following surgery compared to percutaneous procedures in the management of symptomatic TCs. There was no difference in symptom recurrence with either of the techniques.

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Mayur Sharma, Daria Krivosheya, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Gene H. Barnett and Alireza M. Mohammadi

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive stereotactic technique that causes tumor ablation using thermal energy. LITT has shown to be efficacious for the treatment of deep-seated brain lesions, including those near eloquent areas. In this video, the authors present the case of a 62-year-old man with a history of metastatic melanoma who presented with worsening right-sided hemiparesis. MRI revealed a contrast-enhancing lesion in left centrum semiovale in close proximity to corticospinal tracts, consistent with radiation necrosis. The authors review their stepwise technique of LITT with special attention to details for a lesion located near eloquent area.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ndrTgi6MXqE.

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Mayur Sharma, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Gazanfar Rahmathulla, Samuel T. Chao, Hilary K. Koech, Stephanie N. Gregory, Todd Emch, Anthony Magnelli, Antonio Meola, John H. Suh and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of the spine is a conformal method of delivering a high radiation dose to a target in a single or few (usually ≤ 5) fractions with a sharp fall-off outside the target volume. Although efforts have been focused on evaluating spinal cord tolerance when treating spinal column metastases, no study has formally evaluated toxicity to the surrounding organs at risk (OAR), such as the brachial plexus or the oropharynx, when performing SRS in the cervicothoracic region. The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiation dosimetry and the acute and delayed toxicities of SRS on OAR in such patients.

METHODS

Fifty-six consecutive patients (60 procedures) with a cervicothoracic spine tumor involving segments within C5–T1 who were treated using single-fraction SRS between February 2006 and July 2014 were included in the study. Each patient underwent CT simulation and high-definition MRI before treatment. The clinical target volume and OAR were contoured on BrainScan and iPlan software after image fusion. Radiation toxicity was evaluated using the common toxicity criteria for adverse events and correlated to the radiation doses delivered to these regions. The incidence of vertebral body compression fracture (VCF) before and after SRS was evaluated also.

RESULTS

Metastatic lesions constituted the majority (n = 52 [93%]) of tumors treated with SRS. Each patient was treated with a median single prescription dose of 16 Gy to the target. The median percentage of tumor covered by SRS was 93% (maximum target dose 18.21 Gy). The brachial plexus received the highest mean maximum dose of 17 Gy, followed by the esophagus (13.8 Gy) and spinal cord (13 Gy). A total of 14 toxicities were encountered in 56 patients (25%) during the study period. Overall, 14% (n = 8) of the patients had Grade 1 toxicity, 9% (n = 5) had Grade 2 toxicity, 2% (n = 1) had Grade 3 toxicity, and none of the patients had Grade 4 or 5 toxicity. The most common (12%) toxicity was dysphagia/odynophagia, followed by axial spine pain flare or painful radiculopathy (9%). The maximum radiation dose to the brachial plexus showed a trend toward significance (p = 0.066) in patients with worsening post-SRS pain. De novo and progressive VCFs after SRS were noted in 3% (3 of 98) and 4% (4 of 98) of vertebral segments, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

From the analysis, the current SRS doses used at the Cleveland Clinic seem safe and well tolerated at the cervicothoracic junction. These preliminary data provide tolerance benchmarks for OAR in this region. Because the effect of dose-escalation SRS strategies aimed at improving local tumor control needs to be balanced carefully with associated treatment-related toxicity on adjacent OAR, larger prospective studies using such approaches are needed.